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“We are on top of it”: Biden assures help on Miami’s building collapse

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Jun 25, 2021 - 01:17 AM

MAYORS AND CITIES — The federal government is ready to extend help for the people in Florida following an apartment block collapse in Miami, killing at least one and 99 others unaccounted for, President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

“We are on top of it.  We are ready to move, from the federal resources, immediately,” the president said as he addressed a question from the media during his remarks on the bipartisan infrastructure deal.

Biden said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is on the ground and is looking at what the evacuated people might need like food and shelter.

“My Chief of Staff has been deeply involved in this from the very beginning.  We got the Cabinet involved in it now, in terms of dealing with FEMA.  We’re working on it,” he said. “And I made it clear that I say to the people of Florida: Whatever help you want that the federal government can provide, we’re waiting.  Just ask us; we’ll be there.  We’ll be there.”

The president said he was also with Mayor Daniella Levine of Miami-Dade in the White House on Wednesday and tackled unconnected matters from the collapse.

In a tweet, the mayor urged Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency.

“At this moment it is critical that @GovRonDeSantis declare a state of emergency for the building collapse in Surfside so the federal government can allocate resources we desperately need. I have asked the Governor to do this immediately – there is no time to waste,” she said, adding in a separate statement that she already declared a local state of emergency that will need resources after the catastrophe.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said in a news briefing that the Champlain Towers South Condo collapse has affected around 55 apartments , as reported by AFP.

Surfside mayor Charles Burkett confirmed one death. Fourteen survivors were retrieved while many possible victims are hoped to be saved.

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